El Paso’s Borderland Roller Derby Is Coming Back Strong For 2022
After the pandemic, many organizations had to shut down & close their doors.
Many sports & leagues were forced to pause & suspend their seasons, like the Borderland Roller Derby. After a year of being on hold, the games have returned & the teams have some huge plans for 2022.
If you've ever attended a roller derby game in person, then you know things can get intense.
There are 5 local teams in the Borderland Roller Derby League: Las Viudas Negras, Las Diablas, The Sexecutioners, Las Catrinas, & The Chuco Town Chulas. A 6th team is being prepared for the next season.
I was blessed with the opportunity to speak to the general manager of the Borderland Roller Derby, Ivey Ruiz aka "Miss Prettie Poison" about the struggles during the COVID Pandemic & the future of the league:
"When city shutdowns began in Texas during 2020, as all non-essential businesses, Borderland Roller Derby was forced to temporarily close its doors. The pandemic hit the league just as hard as any business not generating revenue, but it had been and continues to be a blessing the venue (The El Paso County Coliseum - Judging Arena) where our track is housed was willing to assist by ensuring the track would safely be stored until doors could reopen to its members and eventually fans of the sport. However, the pandemic took an emotional toll on many of its members who were unable to utilize the track...During the time of quarantine, members of the league found creative ways to remain active; skaters hit the outdoors, skating trails, parks once they reopened and even practiced footwork as well technique on-skates in the comfort of their own home."
Thankfully fans were finally able to return to watch games in person during the summer, but only to a limited capacity.
However, that didn't stop the fans as they were able to enjoy the last game of the 2021 season this past Sunday:
"Fans were ecstatic! Attendance was greater than anticipated and fans enjoyed the entertainment provided by the league who spent a short, yet successful amount of time preparing for these games. The support of the community was evident as advance tickets sold out every game and the stands were filled with enthusiastic fans ready to watch skaters take on the banked track after a year of being on hiatus".
Ivey goes on to state what the league has in store for next year:
"Borderland Roller Derby plans to return in March of 2022 with new and familiar skaters. The league’s focus is to return to its bracket system and hold games in which its home teams may compete against one another, building up the suspense as to who will make it the championship game at the end of the season...Most importantly, the league’s main focus for the new upcoming season is the return of holding events in which give back to the community. As long as the league has been established, working with various charities each game has been a blessing, working hand in hand to build a better and stronger community"
Despite the season wrapping up this past Sunday, there IS another event on Sunday the 19th at Kamikazi Bar 7322 North Loop at 7 pm. People will have the chance to meet new & existing members being drafted in the league & are encouraged to come as their favorite Christmas character.